Karachi dominates the economic and demographic landscape of the Sindh Province. The city is the economic hub of the country, contributing around 15 percent to the national GDP. The city’s population grew from 11.3 million in 1998 to an estimated 22-24 million today, primarily through migration. This has led to significant changes in the ethnic composition of the city, with major impacts on politics, social fabric and governance.
In 2015-2016, the World Bank (WB) prepared a Karachi City Diagnostic (KCD), an unprecedented endeavor to collect comprehensive data on the city’s economy, livability, and key urban infrastructure. The KCD provides an overview of the challenges and opportunities facing the Karachi Metropolitan Region and estimates investment levels needed to bridge the infrastructure gap and improve the metropolitan region’s economic potential. The findings and recommendations of the Diagnostic were corroborated by an extensive series of stakeholder consultations involving Government Counterparts, Civil Society and Academia, the Private sector and Women’s groups. These consultations emphasized the need for a sustained and long-term engagement to support the city’s transformation.
The KCD suggested that the city’s needs and challenges must be framed within its complex political and social landscape. In this context, transforming Karachi into a livable, inclusive, resilient, and productive mega city cannot be achieved through any single project or intervention. In light of the depth and scale of the city’s challenges (in term of policy reforms, institutional governance, and infrastructure needs) and the Bank’s renewed involvement in Karachi, a dual-track approach for Bank engagement has been discussed and agreed on with the relevant Government tiers. Therefore, the proposed project serves as a strategic entry point for re-engagement by the Bank and a building block for a long-term partnership in Karachi.
The development objective of Karachi Neighborhood Improvement Project is to enhance public spaces in targeted neighborhoods of Karachi and to improve the city’s capacity to provide selected administrative services.
The project comprises of three components:
- Public Spaces and Mobility Improvement in Selected Neighborhoods.
- Support to Improved Citizen Services and City Capacity Development.
- Support to Implementation and Technical Assistance.